Overnight, the National Geographic Sea Lion sailed into Nez Perce country, cruising through Lower Granite Dam, the last dam and lock on the Snake River during the early hours of the morning. Following an early morning stretch on the Sun Deck and a hearty breakfast, guests were treated to a humorous yet powerful talk by master storyteller, Nez Perce speaker, JR Spenser. JR told several stories in both song and word, masterfully illustrating the long history of Nez Perce people and culture, keeping guests on the edge of their seats.
After the talk, guests boarded the buses and headed into the Nez Perce reservation and wine country. While traveling through the Snake and Clearwater Basin, local guides, Miquel and Shannon Inzungza, told us how Lewis and Clark depended on the Nez Perce for food and shelter, and vitally, horses and navigation while they traveled through the region.
Our first stop was along the Clearwater River where we were told the traditional Nez Perce story of the Ant and Yellow Jacket, followed by a stop to the Nez Perce National Historic Park along the banks of the Clearwater, where guests were given a orientation and recent history of Nez Perce history and local folklore.
Leaving the Nez Perce Historic Park, we entered wine country visiting a multigenerational family-run Rivaura Winery where guests were treated to an oral history of the business followed by tasted a variety of wines. Perched on a bluff delivering outstanding views and looking west down the Clearwater River, the winery served lunch for the guests and provided a beautiful location for a group photo.
After lunch and photos, guests were taken to Lindsay Creek Winery located southeast of Lewiston, situated amongst Nez Perce and Idaho farm country. A different perspective than Rivaura, Lindsay Creek offered guest award winning quality wines amidst specular landscapes.
After leaving the winery, guests boarded buses to return to the ship where they were treated to yet another wine tasting event presented by Coco Umiker, co-owner of local 4th generation winery, Clearwater Canyon Cellars. Coco gave guests a riveting presentation on the formation of the Lewis and Clark Wine Region, making the Lewiston and Clarkston area one of the most celebrated winery regions in the Pacific Northwest.
Following Coco’s presentation, guests ate their Farewell Dinner in the Sea Lion dining room. After dinner, guests joined staff for the long-anticipated Guest Slide Show, highlighting guests’ most unforgettable moments on and off the ship.